University Mall on Fowler Avenue’s status as an aging, rundown enclosed mall is hardly unique across the country.
But unlike many of those properties, which have been hurt by changing demographics in their surrounding areas, University Mall is in a strong trade area, with the nearbyUniversity of South Florida and health care institutions providing a customer base.
RD Management LLC acquired the mall Thursday for an undisclosed price. A deed for the transaction has not yet been filed. Principal Richard Birdoff told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that he envisions a mix of uses on the site, though he declined to elaborate.
Brian Bern, a senior director with Franklin Street, said the mall’s location makes it a viable redevelopment play. He said he could see a mix of service retail and restaurants and possibly a hotel on the site.
Luxury retail won’t succeed, he said — it would have to be geared toward the student population.
“I’ve got some clients myself that would like to be in that trade area,” Bern said. “The traffic is just so strong up there.”